Starting with the text

Over the next few weeks, I shall be working on a composition for a friend of mine whose son is being Baptised in Canterbury Cathedral in a couple of months time.

I asked him for a text that he felt would be suitable for the occasion, and he came back with three possibilities, from which we decided to use the Prayer of St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556).

Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek for rest;
to labour and not to ask for any reward,
save that of knowing that we do your will.
Amen.

St Ignatius Loyola was a Spanish priest and theologian who founded the Society of jesus, or Jesuits as they became more widely known.

For some visitors to my website, it might be of casual interest to see the process that I go through when composing, but I also know that my students don’t believe me when I say that they have to plan their work more carefully. Perhaps by showing what I do when I compose, it might give them an insight into what makes a (hopefully) successful final piece.

My next post will show how I’m progressing with some melodic motifs, beginning to get an idea of the word setting, and perhaps a few harmonic ideas.

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